“What’s the guts??”. Deep within the interior of ruminant animals is a fascinating digestion system that enables animals to digest fibrous feeds that we as humans can’t. Focusing on how ruminants work, The Rumen Room Podcasts cover a broad range of topics that bring together the nutrition, health, reproductive performance and well-being of ruminant animals. Presented in a practical, down to earth manner by New Zealand veterinarian and nutritionist Dr Charlotte Westwood, The Rumen Room Podcasts are a must for anyone with an interest in ruminant animals. Based largely on topics contained in the Facebook group ”Then Rumen Room”, these podcasts also include new content not published previously on Facebook. Proudly supported by PGG Wrightson Seeds New Zealand, the Rumen Room Podcasts are well worth a subscribe so you can be the first to tune in to the latest episodes. Thanks for joining us.
42. Thiamine deficiency in sheep and cattle – a nutritional challenge with an animal health twist
Thiamine (Vitamin B1) deficiency - a nutrition/diet-mediated animal health condition sometimes seen in ruminant species - features in this, our latest Rumen Room Podcast.
Most often seen in young, spring-born ruminants during their first summer of life, thiamine deficiency is a sporadic animal health condition that most New Zealand dairy, sheep and beef farmers will be familiar with.
Featuring five sections packed with information about thiamine, Dr Charlotte Westwood steps us through this podcast in a down to earth, practical manner. Thiamine as a vitamin is defined and clinical signs of thiamine deficiency are discussed – the “neurological” form of deficiency (Polioencephalomalacia, sometimes called "polio", "PE" or "PEM") and the “Ill-thrift” form of deficiency. Why all ruminants are not equally at risk of thiamine deficiency is explored. How your vet will likely help you with dealing with thiamine deficiency is covered. Strategies that can reduce risk of thiamine deficiency
23/11/2023 • 44 minutes 23 seconds
41. Internal parasite management– the role for good nutrition (plus many other parasite topics!)
Our latest episode features guest speaker Dr Ginny Dodunski who joins Rumen Room host Dr Charlotte Westwood for a chat about all things internal parasites. As a New Zealand-based veterinarian and self proclaimed “gumboot parasitologist”, Ginny requires little introduction to most kiwis involved in farming. With a background in veterinary practice, farm consultancy and more recently, working part time with Wormwise, Ginny joins us to cover a range of topics relating to internal parasite management in sheep and cattle.
Given the concerning scale of resistance by internal parasites to our range of anthelmintic (drench) products, Ginny steps us through a range of down to earth, practical recommendations to managing internal parasites – including the important role for top quality nutrition for maternal and young stock.
Anyone who is involved in managing young stock should tune in - there will be some practical tips and tricks for everyone.
Have a scroll (below) thr
16/10/2023 • 54 minutes 27 seconds
40. The role for dietary iodine in dairy cows before and during mating
This episode takes a deep dive into the topic of dietary iodine requirements of cows - and the relationship (or not) of iodine intake with the reproductive performance of cows.
Iodine is well down the priority list when tackling challenges of poor reproductive performance. Body condition score at calving and the extent and duration of body condition loss (‘negative energy balance’) are by far the more important factors that drive successful reproductive outcomes in dairy cows.
That said, iodine features every season in conversations on farm about improving mating outcomes. “Iodine improves expression of heat by cows” has been around for a long time as a topic of conversation. Fact or fiction?
Join us in this latest podcast to explore the potential relationship between dietary intake of iodine by cows (and some discussion of ewes too) and the wellbeing of ruminants.
06/10/2023 • 38 minutes 54 seconds
39. Summer forages for lactating dairy cows. The Mark and Courtney Harris story
With the ever-increasing inconsistencies of summer weather impacting on dryland dairying, forage crops deliver a valuable bulk of high-quality summer and early autumn feed. In our latest dairying-themed podcast, host Charlotte Westwood is joined by Waikato dairy farming couple, Mark and Courtney Harris - to learn of their investigations into the fit of different summer forage crops for their dairy business.
Farming across two properties in the northern and southern reaches of the Waikato, summer crops form an important feature of Mark and Courtneys dairy systems. Chicory and summer brassicas are cost effective feeds for their herds, helping to to offset the absence of sufficient quantities of high quality pasture that would otherwise compromise summer milksolids production.
Mark and Courtney discuss how four years of on-farm work that has compared cow responses to either chicory or summer brassicas has taught them much about the fit of summer crops within their dairy b
25/09/2023 • 34 minutes 42 seconds
38. Feed for your stock - Spring planting decisions; “What’s In the Bag” – with agronomist Brian Young
With spring planting coming up fast for us here in New Zealand, our latest episode focuses on decisions around choosing the right pasture and forage crop seeds.
Host Charlotte Westwood chats with guest podcaster, Southland agronomist Brian Young about all things seeds. Brian’s background includes farming (sheep and beef, and dairy), shearing, working as a rural retail rep and, for the last 9 years, working with PGG Wrightson Seeds, advising farmers how to grow the very best pastures and forage crops.
What’s involved in choosing the right type of seed? Just what is in that bag of seed?? How do we know that the seed will be right for us, will grow lots of feed for our stock, and won’t bring in unwanted weeds? Brian steps us through the information we need to make informed choices when choosing the right seed for us.
There’s a bit of info for everyone in our latest podcast.
21/09/2023 • 19 minutes 37 seconds
37. Setting ewes up well through lambing – Pasture-based tips and tricks
This episode carries on from Episode 36, expanding the topic around feeding ewes well through lambing. First up, we cover off on the challenges of stress, and of pre-existing animal health conditions on the ability of a heavily inlamb ewe to look after herself and her unborn lambs well, from a nutritional point of view.
The importance of getting stocking rate right at the point of set stocking is discussed, and we investigate ways to calculate what your stocking rate should look like.
Lower than ideal pasture covers at the time of set stocking - such a challenge! Short and longer terms ideas of improving pasture-feeding levels at lambing are discussed.
Content of our latest podcast:
1.50: Feeding ewes well; more kg of lambs weaned per ewe mated
3.00: Non-nutritional factors that impact on the nutritional status of ewes in late pregnancy
28/08/2023 • 49 minutes 10 seconds
36. Pregnancy Toxaemia (“Sleepy Sickness”) in pregnant ewes
Our latest sheep-themed podcast covers a topic that can challenge our pregnant ewes when they have a belly-full of lambs in late pregnancy. Pregnancy toxaemia is a metabolic disease of ewes caused by underfeeding and/or stress when ewes, often those carrying twins or triplets, reach the final stages of late pregnancy. The podcast covers off what pregnancy toxaemia is (and how and why it occurs), clinical signs you might see in affected ewes, then finishes up with an overview of approaches to treating ewes with pregnancy toxaemia.
*NOTE: This podcast contains information about pregnancy toxaemia in ewes, however podcast content is NOT intended to substitute advice and recommendations from your own veterinarian about the health and wellbeing of your ewes*
Content of our latest podcast:
1.30: An introduction to the current episode
3.50: What is pregnancy toxae
25/08/2023 • 39 minutes 52 seconds
35. Rumen bloat (“frost bloat”) in cattle that eat frosted, frozen winter pastures and forage crops
During mid-winter, it’s not uncommon to start the morning with frosted forages (pastures, winter brassicas, fodder beet and green feed cereals). For break / strip grazed animals that are hungrily waiting for their regular shift onto a new break, frosted forages can potentially increase risk of rumen bloat or "frost bloat".
In this our latest “bite-sized” Rumen Room Podcast, we cover why grazing ruminants, cattle particularly, are at greater risk of rumen bloat when they eat frozen pastures and winter forage crops.
Preventative strategies that reduce risk of “frost bloat” in animals that graze frozen, frosted forages are discussed.
11/08/2023 • 13 minutes 44 seconds
34. Reducing risk of low blood calcium at calving - Dairy cow springer (pre-calving) diets
In this our latest podcast, we focus exclusively on the diet of “springer” dairy cows (otherwise known as “close up dry cows”).
Many factors are important when designing springer cows diets – relating not only to calcium metabolism but also to do with dietary energy, protein, fibre and, of course, the requirements for other minerals and vitamins.
Focusing specifically on how a springer cow diet influences calcium metabolism through calving and during early lactation, we’ll cover a range of different topics. First up, the basics of calcium metabolism are discussed then moving onto the reasons why recently calved cows end up vulnerable to low blood calcium (hypocalcaemia), particularly when freshly calved cows are milked for the first time.
Strategies to lessen the extent and duration of hypocalcaemia in freshly calved cows inevitably start with the design of a spri
23/07/2023 • 1 hour 5 minutes 3 seconds
33. Intramuscular fat (IMF) deposition in finishing animals – animal-related factors, and dietary nutrition
Intramuscular fat (IMF) is fat that’s deposited between and within individual muscle fibres (cells) in the skeletal muscle of animals. Also referred to as ‘marbling’, consumers of red meat often prefer meat that contains a higher level of IMF due to an enhanced eating experience.
In this, our second in a two-part series focusing on IMF in ruminant animals, we carry on a discussion around IMF from part one (Episode 32) that covered the basics of IMF in red meat.
In Episode 33, our current episode, we further explore the subject of IMF, covering first up, some of the animal-based factors that influence extent of IMF deposition. In the second part of this podcast we discuss the importance of the dietary nutrition of finishing animals to achieve desired levels of IMF in red meat.
The following topics are covered within Episode 33, at times within the podcast, listed
19/06/2023 • 56 minutes 47 seconds
32. An introduction to intramuscular fat (IMF) deposition in finishing animals
Intramuscular fat (IMF) is fat that’s deposited between and within individual muscle fibres (cells) in the body of animals. Often also referred to as ‘marbling’, the consumers of red meat often have a preference for higher IMF meat due to an enhanced eating experience.
In this, our first in a two-part series that focuses on IMF, we lay the foundations for our discussion around IMF. We define what IMF is, and describe why the increasingly discerning consumers prefer meat that contains a higher percentage of IMF. We further scene set around fat metabolism with a discussion around the four key fat depots found in a finishing animal and what roles these fat depots play in the day to day existence of our sheep and cattle.
In Episode 33, we’ll build further on this IMF topic by looking at a deeper level of detail around animal and nutrition-based factors (at a farm level) that influence the extent of IMF deposition in finishing cattle and sheep.
Have a search within t
09/06/2023 • 28 minutes 20 seconds
31. The dry off process for lactating dairy cows. Part Two
This is our second of a two part series all about “drying off” lactating dairy cows. Part One of this two-part series (Episode 30) covered off the basics of why the cow and her udder need a dry period to rest and recuperate in preparation for a new lactation. What a “good” dry off process might look like was discussed, as well as the impact of once-a-day milking before dry off for cows that are still producing a lot of milk in late lactation.
In this, Part Two of the two-part series about drying off dairy cows, we explore the role for nutrition before, through and after the dry off process. We’ll cover different ways to reduce the intake of energy and other nutrients for cows during dry off, with the aim to make the process as successful as we can - for both the cow but also for you and your business.
Below hopefully will help you find the content if you’ve not got time to listen in to the whole podcast. Enjoy!
3.00 Introduction and overview of this podcast
06/05/2023 • 1 hour 1 minute 7 seconds
30. The dry off process for lactating dairy cows. Part One
“Drying off” lactating dairy cows is the process of successfully and efficiently closing down the lactation process in readiness for the dry period – a time of rest and recuperation for not only the cow but also her hard-working milk secretory cells in her udder.
In this, part one of a two-part series about drying off dairy cows, we explore the basics of just why the cow and her udder deserve a well-earned break over the dry period. What “good” might look like for the ideal dry-off process is defined, and the role (or not) for gradual step down from twice-a-day to once-a-day milking before the dry off process.
The second part of this two-part series (Episode 31) covers the role for nutrition in the dry off process for lactating cows.
Search within this current Episode 30 for topics of interest if you've not got time to listen to the entire episode:
1.00 Just what do we mean by the term “drying off” of dairy cows?
1.40 Introduction around what will
29/04/2023 • 47 minutes 31 seconds
29. Rusty grasses – what might these mean for grazing animal performance and wellbeing?
In this our latest “bite sized” Rumen Room Podcast, we cover off a brief overview about rusty grasses. Often the first time you realise your pastures contain Crown rust (Puccinia coronata) or Stem rust (Puccinia graminis) fungi is when your boots turn an orange colour as you walk through the paddocks. (Note that these aren’t the only types of fungi to cause rusty coloured mottling on your grasses - we’re focusing on just these two in this podcast. Ask your local agronomist for more advice around what types of fungi might be turning your grasses unusual rust and orange colours).
This latest podcast discusses what rust fungi are, why they appear in your paddocks and what weather conditions favour the accumulation of rust on your pastures. What rust might mean for your grazing animals is discussed – both from an animal nutrition point of view, as well as the risk of unintended consequences to animal performance and wellbeing when stock graze rusty pastures.
23/03/2023 • 13 minutes
28. Ewe flushing for mating success
For spring lambing businesses, autumn means it’s time for the rams to head out with the ewes. Ovulation, conception rate and embryo implantation are all influenced by nutrition before and during mating.
In this our latest Rumen Room Podcast, we’re focusing on the importance of a rising plane of nutrition for ewes (otherwise known as “flushing”) before the ewes meet the rams. We’ll cover a range of information, everything from how we think that flushing might work specifically to improve ovulation rates, and the importance of ewe body condition score as a modifier of and reproductive success. Feeding for flushing success is covered, including everything from pasture grazing management, different non-pasture forages and supplementary feeds for flushing.
Here’s where to find the various sections of our latest ewe mating podcast:
2:05 Scene setting around the importance of ewe nutrition befor
12/03/2023 • 1 hour 8 minutes 55 seconds
27. Magnesium Sulphate or Magnesium Chloride for dairy cows. Which one?
With this, our latest and all new “bite-sized” short Rumen Room podcast, we discuss the specific topic of magnesium salts... magnesium chloride and magnesium sulphate. We’ll take a compare and contrast style of approach to cover off the basics around the decision around which type of magnesium to use and when, how and where to use either of these types of magnesium salts. Acknowledging of course as usual that this podcast is not designed to replace the recommendations and advice of your very own veterinarian or qualified dairy nutritionist!
Let us know what you think of our latest “bite-sized” podcasts and if you like our shorter and more to the point style of topic presentation or our more comprehensive longer style (or perhaps a mixture of both!). Look forward to hearing from you!
03/03/2023 • 12 minutes 7 seconds
26. Flood damage; Part Two – Deciding what to do with flood damaged Crops
In this, our latest Rumen Room Podcast episode, we’re going to carry on with the topic of flood damage to ruminant feeds. Episode 25 was part one of this two-part flood themed topic, which covered a discussion around assessing and deciding what to do with supplementary feeds (specifically, silage, baleage, hay and straw) that may have been damaged by flood waters.
This latest podcast is part two of this two part flood-themed series, focusing more on the challenges and opportunities of flood damaged summer and winter crops, with an emphasis on forage brassica crops. To assist with your navigation through Episode 26, the following provides some guidance for those of you searching for specific aspects of managing flood-damaged forage crops – to save you having to listen to the whole podcast if you’re too busy just now. NOTE: There is however considerable overlap between sections of content within this particular podcast.
Content within this podcast is not intended to repl
14/02/2023 • 52 minutes 55 seconds
25. Flood damage; Part One – Deciding what to do with flood damaged Supplementary Feeds
With recent flood damage across many New Zealand regions, it’s timely to explore flood-associated nutritional and feed challenges being faced by many farmers. This episode is the first of a two part series that explores topics to do with managing flood damaged feeds for cattle, sheep and deer. We’ll discuss topics to do with flood damaged silage, baleage, hay and straw for ruminant species. Episode 26, part two in this two-part series will carry on with this flood-damaged feed theme by covering aspects of challenges when flood waters damage forage crops, with a specific emphasis on forage brassicas.
To assist with your navigation through this episode, the following time points provide some guidance for those of you searching for specific aspects of managing flood-damaged supplementary feed – to save you having to listen to the whole podcast if you’re simply too busy just now. NOTE: There is, however, considerable overlap between sections of content within this particular po
14/02/2023 • 59 minutes 55 seconds
24. Summer bulb turnips for lactating dairy cows: Part Two
A relatively common feed for lactating dairy cows, summer bulb turnips deliver top quality feed crop when the amount and/or nutritive value of summer pastures is lacking.
Continuing on with our summer turnip theme that we started back in episode 23, in part two of this two-part summer turnip series, we’ll cover off practicalities of feeding summer bulb turnips. The importance of the careful transitioning of cows from pasture-based diets to one that contains summer bulb turnips is explained. Expected performance and milk responses by cows to summer turnips are discussed as well how to avoid animal health, or milk taint issues when cows eat bulb turnips.
To help you navigate through – here’s where to find the content within this podcast.
3:50 When to graze summer bulb turnips (tankard and globe types) after planting
6:45 Planning ahead when turn
30/01/2023 • 47 minutes 23 seconds
23. Summer bulb turnips for lactating dairy cows: Part One
Summer bulb turnips are a key component of the diet for many lactating dairy cows. In this two-part series, we’ll be exploring everything to do with cows grazing bulb turnips, from the nutritional profile of summer turnips through to grazing management and expected milk production and body condition responses by cows that consume bulb turnips.
This, our first part of this two part series about turnips, we’ll cover off the role for summer bulb turnips in a dairy farm systems, and explore the typical nutritional values of the bulb and leaf of summer bulb turnips. The basic aspects of the nutritional profile such as dry matter (DM%) of crops, as well as the energy content, fibre, protein and macro and trace minerals are discussed. We’ll be including references to previously unpublished nutritional information from a New Zealand study of the feed quality of summer turnips. This information will help you successfully integrate summer bulb turnips into the diet of your lactating da
12/01/2023 • 1 hour 4 minutes 23 seconds
22. Primary Photosensitisation (“sunburn”) in lambs and cattle
In this, our latest Rumen Room podcast, we’ve got a summer-themed podcast for you. With many of us heading away to beaches and lakes and lots of outdoor activities, we’re very aware of the importance of prevention of sunburn for us and our families. Ever thought about our sheep and cattle? Yes, under some circumstances, sheep and cattle can sometimes experience a condition called ‘photosensitisation’ – which looks very much like an extreme version of sunburn.
In this podcast hosted by New Zealand veterinarian and nutritionist Dr Charlotte Westwood, this ‘photosensitisation’ condition is explored and explained. “Primary photosensitisation” is explored and contrasted with the other form of photosensitisation “Secondary photosensitisation” due to conditions such as Facial Eczema (otherwise known as sporidesmin toxicity) that’ll be discussed in a later podcast (stay tuned for that!).
Many names and terms are used to describe primary photosensitisation including ‘spring ecz
30/12/2022 • 1 hour 10 minutes 14 seconds
21. Mating of dairy cows: Part Two. Anoestrus (non-cycling) cows, silent heats and heat detection efficiency.
In this, our latest Rumen Room Podcast episode, we’ll carry on with the theme of dairy cow nutrition and reproductive performance. Episode 20 covered the importance of 3-week submission rate as a driver of reproductive success in seasonally calved dairy herds. We discussed how the nutrition of cows impacts the onset of ovulation and oestrus (heat) in cows after calving. Episode 20 finished up talking about nutritional challenges that impact on anoestrus (non-cycling) dairy cows.
This latest podcast completes the topic of anoestrus cows topic by discussing why herd social stressors may increase risk of anoestrus cows. The final topic around anoestrus cows covers that frustrating cycle of “slow calving rate causing slow submission rate causing a slow calving rate”. Ideas about how to break out of this slow calving rate-slow submission rate cycle are discussed.
Reasons why cows that cycle early after calving might stop cycling again in time for mating are discussed (how a
10/12/2022 • 45 minutes 5 seconds
20. Mating of dairy cows: Part One. Effects of nutrition on 3-week submission rate
For seasonally mated dairy cows, 3-week submission rate is an important driver of a herds reproductive efficiency. There’re a huge number of factors that influence 3-week submission rate including but not limited to the nutrition of dairy cows. In part one of this two-part podcast series about dairy nutrition and submission rates, we’ll first explore how submission rate contributes to reproductive efficiency, through the role of submission rate influencing our 6-week in calf rates. We’ll then move onto the challenge of anoestrus (“non-cycler”) cows and how these non-cycler cows will, if not treated by your vet, reduce your 3-week submission rate. Risk factors for anoestrus cows are explored and we'll discuss how you can examine what might have happened through calving and during lactation to cause more anoestrus cows that you normally have to deal with.
In part two of this two-part podcast series (episode 21), we’ll cover the challenge of the “slow calving rate-slow submis
25/11/2022 • 59 minutes 51 seconds
19. ”Where are my missing milksolids?” Part three - Pasture-based factors that influence post-peak decline in milksolids production
In this, the third of our three part series exploring “Where are my missing milksolids”, we’ll continue on from topics covered in parts one (Episode 16) and two (Episode 18). This time around, we’ll cover off the challenges of ryegrass-based pastures for New Zealand spring calving, pasture-fed cows. Perennial ryegrass is a highly productive, top quality feed for most months of the year. During late spring and early summer, reproductive changes by ryegrass plants cause potential issues not only for reduced feed quality of pasture, but also influences the tastiness of pasture, and the ease with which cows can harvest ryegrass.
This episode will explore the role of ryegrass-based pastures in the post-peak decline in milksolids production, discuss pasture management concepts to help maintain ryegrass quality, as well as longer term ideas to potentially improve the quality of late spring/early summer pastures.
06/11/2022 • 1 hour 8 minutes 9 seconds
18. “Where are my missing milksolids?” Part two – Cow-based factors that influence post-peak decline in milksolids production
In our first podcast in this three-part series, we explored factors that influence milksolids production from calving through to peak production in New Zealand spring calved dairy herds - take a listen to part one to catch up on that discussion.
In this, our latest part in this “Where are my missing milksolids?” series, we move onto the next stage in the lactation curve - the post-peak decline (or "crash off peak") in milksolids production experienced by spring calved dairy herds during late spring and early summer. First up we'll explore cow-based factors responsible for post-peak decline that prevent cows from having a flat lactation curve post-peak. Everything from why the cow (and udder) simply can’t run a flat lactation curve, through to the effects of all manner of hormones, the body condition score, age and health and wellbeing of the cow as well as the social structure of the herd on post-peak decline.
Hot and bothered cows are more likely to drop away off peak quic
28/10/2022 • 45 minutes 16 seconds
17. Wellbeing of young ruminants grazing summer crops
In this latest podcast, well known veterinarian Andrew Dowling joins Charlotte Westwood to discuss all things to do with animal wellbeing and performance on summer crops. With a wealth of veterinary and farm systems knowledge, Andrew steps us through the various tips and tricks around looking after your lambs or young cattle during their first summer of life. The importance of transitioning stock from pastures to high quality summer crops is covered, before Andrew discusses some of the common disease problems in animals on summer crops including clostridial diseases, vitamin B1 deficiency and pneumonia. Trace mineral requirements of lambs on summer crops are discussed then Andrew finishes up with a detailed summary of the internal parasite challenges in young stock over the summer months.
For anyone who grazes lambs or young cattle on summer crops, there’s something in this podcast for you!
21/10/2022 • 48 minutes 5 seconds
16. ”Where are my missing milksolids?” Part One - Calving through to peak lactation
In theory, our pasture-fed cows should simply eat pasture and produce milksolids. Shouldn’t they? Well yes, but sometimes on a whole herd basis, we might track the herds milk production and wonder why the herd is not producing as much as they should.
In this latest Rumen Room Podcast we’ll explore different aspects of the lactation curve of a spring calving dairy herd, looking for clues to explain why New Zealand spring calving cows might not be delivering the milksolids we’d been expecting.
The first in a three-part series, this podcast focuses on the early to peak stages of the lactation curve of a spring calving herd. Factors that might result in cows producing fewer milksolids during early lactation are explored including calving rate, cow body condition score, metabolic disease, amount and quality of pasture and supplementary feeds, and milking frequency, once or twice a day milking.
Tune in and see if any of these reasons might explain where your missing milkso
11/10/2022 • 54 minutes 9 seconds
15. Milk urea in pasture-fed dairy cows
Urea concentration in the milk of pasture-fed cows, what’s it about? In this latest Rumen Room Podcast, veterinarian and nutritionist Dr Charlotte Westwood steps us through all things to do with milk urea. Why and how does urea end up in the blood and therefore in the milk of cows? What does it mean for the cow when milk urea concentrations are unusually high or unexpectedly low? Do we do anything different with the diet of cows if milk urea concentration is too high or too low?
With a specific emphasis on the interpretation of milk urea concentrations for pasture-fed dairy herds, tune in for an update about all things to do with milk urea.
24/09/2022 • 58 minutes 44 seconds
14. SMCO toxicity (aka kale anaemia, red water) in ruminant species
Forage brassicas are simply an amazing, low cost feed for our ruminant species.
Over 300,000 ha of brassicas are planted in New Zealand annually and thankfully, animal health disorders are not particularly common despite the huge numbers of animals that eat brassicas each year.
Very occasionally, grazing animals might experience an animal health disorder called SMCO toxicity. SMCO is a non-protein sulphur-nitrogen compound that sometimes accumulates in brassica crops and brassica weed species. Most cases of SMCO toxicity are seen when animals graze forage brassica crops during late winter and early to mid spring (August, September, October in New Zealand) when plants are undergoing fresh growth and reproductive development with increasing daylength and warmer, spring days. Cases present with signs associated with haemolytic anaemia, including red water (red coloured urine).
Presented by New Zealand veterinarian and nutritionist Dr Charlotte Westwood, this podcas
03/09/2022 • 54 minutes 57 seconds
13. Summer crop planning – The journey from seed to feed
Spring is just around the corner and before we know it, it’ll be Christmas. It’s never too early to be planning for your summer forage crop requirements to keep your sheep, cattle and/or deer happy, well fed and content through the summer months.
In this episode, Dr Charlotte Westwood is joined by Paul Greenbank, agronomist and farm systems guru with PGG Wrightson Seeds based on the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand. Paul steps us through the planning process for getting a spring planted crop into the ground - ready for your lambs, cattle or deer to enjoy a cost effective, tasty and nutritious summer forage crop.
All manner of topics are discussed in a practical, down to earth manner. Everything is covered from paddock selection and preparation for cropping through to looking after your new crop plants as they get up and running during the days and weeks after planting.
Later in 2022 we’ll feature a couple of crop-focused episodes that’ll discuss th
22/08/2022 • 1 hour 14 seconds
12. Calf Nutrition: Nutritional scours
In this second of a two part series about preweaned calf nutrition, this episode covers all things to do with nutritional scours (diarrhoea) in calves younger than 3 weeks of age. Nutritional scours not only increase risk of dehydration in your young calves, but also increase risk of infectious scours due to a range of pathogens.
Presented by New Zealand veterinarian and ruminant nutritionist Dr Charlotte Westwood, this fact filled episode will provide tips and tricks for calf rearers around preventing nutritional scours. This episode discusses just what nutritional scours are in calves, why scouring makes calves unwell, and factors that increase risk of nutritional scours in young calves.
For more information around the basics of the nutrition of milk-fed young calves, tune into the first of this two part series about pre-ruminant calf nutrition.
19/08/2022 • 1 hour 14 minutes 56 seconds
11. Calf nutrition: All you wanted to know but were afraid to ask!
Such a magical transformation - a newborn calf that becomes a fully fledged and functioning ruminant within just a matter of months. How does this amazing process of changing a fully milk-fed calf to one that eats and digests pasture work? Join us for another fact filled and down to earth approach to understanding about the nutrition of young calves, including nutritional tips and tricks to help rear strong and healthy calves.
Presented by New Zealand veterinarian and nutritionist Dr Charlotte Westwood, there's something for everyone in this first of a two part series. We'll step us through how calves digest milk, how a new rumen develops and the how and why of the importance of different feeds along each step of the journey.
The second part of this two part series focuses more on the challenge of nutritional scours in calves younger than 3 weeks of age. A discussion is included around what is nutritional scour and risk factors that increase the likelihood that young calve
06/08/2022 • 1 hour 19 minutes 32 seconds
10. Transition feeding of dairy cows through calving – Keeping cows well, the practicalities!
Keeping our cows happy, healthy and well through the transition period. What are some practical tips and tricks to help make calving a whole lot less stressful for our cows (and us)?
In this episode, New Zealand veterinarian and nutritionist Dr Charlotte Westwood is joined by guest podcaster and fellow veterinarian and nutritionist Dr Laura Pattie. Born and bred on a North Island dairy farm, Laura spent 10 years in a predominantly dairy veterinary role before moving into a ruminant nutrition role with PGG Wrightson Ltd.
Laura brings to this podcast a very hands on, down to earth and practical approach to managing metabolic disease challenges in New Zealand dairy cows. Stepping us through the various stages of the transition period as cows move through the springer to colostrum to milking herds, Laura provides us with a wealth of sensible farm-level advice to keep our cows well. There’s something here for everyone as practical takehomes for your calving cows. Tune in
17/07/2022 • 50 minutes 31 seconds
9. Udder oedema in calving dairy cows
Udder oedema is a condition that sometimes affects our younger dairy cows around calving time. This latest Rumen Room podcast covers off information about udder oedema. Topics discussed include why udder oedema occurs, the range of factors that increase risk of udder oedema and some of the nutritional strategies that may reduce the chances of udder oedema occurring in your cows.
Presented by New Zealand veterinarian and ruminant nutritionist Charlotte Westwood, we hope that you find some handy tips to help reduce risk of udder oedema. As for any animal health disorder, the content of this podcast is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian or qualified ruminant nutritionist.
13/07/2022 • 45 minutes 40 seconds
8. Magnesium metabolism – the inside story!
Magnificent magnesium – a mineral that all animal species require to keep the body ticking along. And a very relevant mineral given lambing and calving time is just around the corner for New Zealand and Australians. Why the extra interest in magnesium in winter and spring??
For pregnant and lactating animals, magnesium is a very important mineral. If we don’t get the diet just right, and the magnesium status of our animals correctly sorted, our animals can get themselves into all sort of trouble with increased risk of metabolic diseases before, during and after calving or lambing. Risk of magnesium challenges is especially a problem during winter and spring.
New Zealand veterinarian Dr Charlotte Westwood steps us through everything we need to know about magnesium metabolism in our pregnant and lactating ruminant species. Tune in now and start thinking magnesium just in time for spring!
02/07/2022 • 53 minutes 59 seconds
7. “Feed Test Lab Reports: Just what on earth do all those numbers mean” - Part Two
Cattle are picky critters and oh such fussy eaters!
The backstory to this Podcast is that our cattle have decided “No thanks”, they’d rather not eat our pasture silage.
Why not? What’s different about this pasture silage that might explain why our cattle won’t touch it?
In this, part two of a two part series, New Zealand veterinarian and nutritionist Charlotte Westwood walks us through what the various feed test results might mean for this sample of pasture silage.
This podcast explores, step-by-step, the second section of the feed test results provided to us by Hill Laboratories. (Part one of this podcast series largely explored the mineral test results).
Join us to walk through the various test results including energy, protein and fibre contents of the silage, the pH result and the levels of va
15/06/2022 • 52 minutes 20 seconds
6. “Feed Test Lab Reports: Just what on earth do all those numbers mean” - Part One
How many of you routinely collect feed samples and send them away for feed testing? Ever wondered what all those numbers mean? No worries – you are most certainly not alone! Listen in to this, the first in a two part series all about interpreting feed test results for a sample of pasture silage.
New Zealand veterinarian and nutritionist Charlotte Westwood will step you through the various feed test results and explain what each number means. To make this more interesting, you’ll get to play detective as part of the process. This particular silage sample was collected because cattle refused to eat the silage. Why might these cattle not be so keen? Might the lab test numbers show us some clues?
This, part one of a two part series, explores the first batch of numbers as typically reported for a full silage/baleage feed test by Hill Laboratories in New Zealand. In this episode, we’ll discuss the various macro and trace minerals for this pa
09/06/2022 • 46 minutes 21 seconds
5. Nitrate toxicity in ruminants
Nitrate toxicity - the most commonly encountered toxicity challenge in New Zealand ruminants. This podcast breaks nitrate toxicity down into seven "bite sized", easy to understand sections. By stepping through, step-by-step, the various things that we need to know about nitrate toxicity, you'll be set up well to understand how to deal with this challenging problem.
Topics covered include how to assess risk of nitrate toxicity in your forage crops and pastures, understanding how and why nitrate toxicity occurs in ruminants, what to do if you suspect cases of nitrate toxicity in your animals, and how to reduce the risk of future toxicity cases. As with any cases of clinical or sub-clinical disease in animals, your own veterinarian remains your first person to urgently contact if you are dealing with suspected cases of nitrate toxicity.
Presented by New Zealand veterinarian and ruminant nutritionist Charlotte Westwood, we hope you can join us for this informative podcast
24/05/2022 • 52 minutes 16 seconds
4. Checklist for success - wintering sheep and cattle on winter crops and pastures
Are you looking after pregnant cows or ewes through the winter months? Then this podcast is designed for you. With an emphasis on looking after cows and ewes really well, on outdoor winter forage crops particularly, this podcast steps us through some of the planning processes required before animals transition off pasture-based diets onto winter feeds.
Topics covered include the basics of feed budgeting, demands of animals for feed and water, types of supplementary feeds and looking after animals during winter weather events. There's something here for for everyone involved in wintering animals – including those of you who feed pasture and supplementary feeds to your animals.
Presented by New Zealand veterinarian and nutritionist Dr Charlotte Westwood, we welcome you to listen in and compare your winter wellbeing checklist with ours.
18/05/2022 • 41 minutes 53 seconds
3. The basics of ruminant nutrition - with a difference! Part Two
Assuming you've survived the dizzying journey of a ryegrass leaf from the front (biting) part of a cow to the back (emptying) end of a cow in Part One of this two part series - you'll now be ready for the other part of Basic Ruminant Nutrition.
In this episode, we'll explore how the broken down various bits of pieces of feeds, such as ryegrass, get turned into useful things that the ruminant animal can use. The basics of volatile fatty acids (VFAs are explored) as well as how dietary protein gets turned into useful things a ruminant can use to make milk protein, or protein to help a young ruminant grow.
Presented by New Zealand veterinarian and nutritionist Dr Charlotte Westwood, we welcome you to listen in to Part Two of this two part episode.